The capital city of Louisiana (yeah, you are right, it's not New Orleans, it's Baton Rouge!) adds some local flavor to the typical New Year's celebrations. As you might know, 'Baton Rouge' translates from French as 'red stick,' which explains the tradition: they don't drop the ball for the countdown, they celebrate it with the Red Stick Drop at the Red Stick Revelry (virtual for New Year 2021).
There is much more to it than just a drop at the Red Stick Revelry celebration. The day-time kids' program and the evening live entertainment with laser light show is mostly centered on the Galvez Plaza. The festivities reach culmination at midnight when a 9-foot (2.7-meter) long LED red stick is dropped in Town Square, accompanied by a dazzling fireworks display over the Mississippi River. *2021 update: The organizers announced that no fireworks, laser light show, or live concert are taking place this year. Everyone can watch online and have an opportunity to win a VIP package for the next year’s celebration.
On New Year's Day, you can enjoy a peaceful stroll or go ice skating at the Raising Cane's River Center. The Ice Skating on the River runs from late November to early January and offers 90-minute sessions to let locals and visitors enjoy the winter fun on the Mississippi River banks.
There are also lots of options to celebrate New Year's Eve at the hotels and nightclubs across Baton Rouge. We suggest making a reservation in advance to enjoy the last night of the year in good company.